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Using time-outs to discipline children does not harm them or their relationships with their parents, suggests a study in the Journal of Development & Behavioral Pediatrics. Researchers analyzed longitudinal data from 1,387 U.S. children enrolled in Head Start programs. The data revealed that by the time a child reached age 3, 28% of parents had employed the time-out strategy. The researchers used parent questionnaires, in-lab observations and videotaped interactions when the children were 3, in pre-kindergarten and in fifth grade to assess their mental health, social skills and feelings about their parents. They found no differences in levels of anxiety and depression, self-control, rule breaking or child negativity toward their parents between children whose parents used time-outs and children whose parents did not. In contrast, children whose parents used physical punishment were more aggressive than children whose parents did not. (Monitor on Psychology)

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